I don’t buy comics solely based on characters or brand loyalty. I buy based on how much I’m liking the writers/artists and the stories that they’re telling. That said, the “editorial climate” at a comics company often has a direct effect on the creators that are drawn to work at those companies, who has signed exclusive contracts with whom, and what kinds of stories editorial is currently allowing to be published about the characters the company owns.
These are generally not something that comes into play with creator owned comics but are very tangible factors on the types of stories being told at Marvel & DC. As a result, depending on the climate at any given point in time, my enjoyment of titles at one company or another is generally higher at any given point in time. My Marvel-DC pendulum swings back and forth every 3-5 years, it seems. Recently it has been swinging back into a Marvel dominant position (just taking Marvel & DC into account).
If we look at how my enjoyment of the books that I read through as part of this exercise stacked up, we get the following:
Really Enjoyed – MARVEL 3 to 1 advantage
Marvel: 16(12) (several creative team changes switching things up moving forward)
DC: 7(4) (moved Batman up into this category, based on Year Zero, but only 4 books staying on my pull list, several books ending or had creative team changes)
OK – MARVEL 2.3 to 1 advantage
Didn’t care for – MARVEL 2.6 to 1 advantage
So I’m very solidly in the Marvel camp right now. That’s not to say I’m not liking anything from DC, I just have a much smaller set of titles I like from them right now, and I fully acknowledge that it’s completely a matter of personal taste.
My opinion on this is that I dislike the New52 direction in general, it’s just not hitting me right. At the same time, Marvel NOW has been a big success with me, it’s got me reading (and liking) more Marvel books right now. I don’t think either of these were purely creative decisions, they seem like more editorial/marketing driven to give a new identity to the respective companies’ offerings. They had to be targeting a specific audience with each. I think I was collateral damage for DC. Their changes didn’t sit well with me but there are a lot of people loving them (though sales #s would indicate that they’re not a raging success outside the Batman/Justice League franchises).
So, for now, MAKE MINE MARVEL!
If history is any indication, I’ll be back preferring DC over Marvel somewhere around 2017…..
But realistically, I buy more indie books than Marvel & DC combined…
Bob Bretall: firstname.lastname@example.org
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